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The Spellcaster's Manual is Ainsley Burrows' latest tome, with 500 pages of poetry covering over 20 years of writing. 

This unparalleled collection of poems offers stories of joy and transcendence, love and murder, and simple truths. It trembles with chaos and beauty as Burrows bends form, syntax and imagery to deliver thoughts and sensations that are new to even the most mature reader. 

As a lover of history and the human mind, Burrows reaches into the deepest recesses of the body politic with razor-sharp precision to expose the reader to the bile crawling through the gutters of American history... and on the very next page, he elegantly pivots the mind to the excruciating desire for love-making.


This journey spans two decades of love and loss, and political and social havoc, while never forgetting the humor in all things. By including 10 individual books of poetry written over time, the collection shows Burrows' growth as a writer.  It also shows how he has been experimenting with language and tinkering with different forms and styles of writing.

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“Burrows is what James Baldwin paved the way for. He is moving, romantic and unapologetically black. Each page invites you to fall more deeply in love with language.”   Natalie Patterson, Poet

cover photo by Barron Claiborne

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